The Xal’atath Questline explains why we even enter the Crucible of Storms, patch 8.1.5’s new raid.
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The Naga are attacking! As you help defend Zandalar or Kul Tiras from their fishy onslaught, you come across an Azsharan Medallion – “an ornate metal disc adorned with Nazja inscriptions.” Since you can’t read Nazja, the language of the Naga, you take it to someone who can: Collector Kojo of the Tortollan.
Kojo tells you that the medallion is inscribed with orders to invade Zandalar and Kul Tiras and steal artifacts of power. (Apparently, Azshara doesn’t believe in letters, only metal discs will do.) Kojo tells you about a dagger named Xal’atath, unless you’re a priest, in which case you know all about Xal’atath already. He found it on a Naga altar, unless you’re a priest, in which case you have it already. Kojo reckons taking it to a Naga altar will help you figure out exactly what ‘artifacts of power’ the Naga are after.
(Xal’atath, Blade of the Black Empire, is the Shadow Priest artifact weapon in Legion. Supposedly created from the claw of an Old God, the blade is both truly ancient and sentient. In game, Shadow Priest players quickly fell in love with the way she whispered to them, and she became affectionately known as ‘Knaifu‘. As an Old God-related character, her whispers are naturally quite sinister and alarming. Theoretically, Xal’atath should have been completely drained and destroyed along with all the other artifact weapons, but it seems some part of her still exists, as the blade radiates a dark energy that disturbs Kojo.)
You place the dagger on the altar. She’s weak, and she’s barely able to tell you she needs blood and souls to recover her strength. Conveniently, there are plenty of Naga nearby. She complains a bit about “that priest” leaving her so weakened, unless you are a priest, in which case she complains at you directly about misusing her, but then quickly moves on to update you on current events.
N’Zoth, the Old God, plans to return, and his servants are preparing for it with a ritual that will “wash away all unbelievers”, something even Xal’atath finds fanatical. They need three artifacts for this ritual: an artifact of void, an artifact of storm, and an artifact of ocean. You’re going after the void artifact first: the Void Stone. On your way, Xal’atath will tell you all about how disappointing the priest was and how much more potential she sees in you, unless you are the priest, in which case she tells you that you were always her favourite companion. Knaifu‘s totes not manipulative at all.
The Void Stone is in Drustvar, surrounded by cultists led by a Blood Elf named Inanis. You kill the cultists and retrieve the stone, which Xal’atath immediately tells you to use to empower her, as it’ll give her enough strength to locate the other two artifacts.
She’s not wrong. Empowering Xal’atath gives her the ability to take over Inanis‘s corpse, and she relishes her brand new moral form: that of a Void Elf. (Shadow Priests go wild, Knaifu is waifu, etc etc.) Xal’atath senses another relic, a trident this time. It’s in the possession of a pirate, who doesn’t have a clue what she’s got. You’re off to educate her by showing her it’s worth dying for.
This Tridant of Deep Ocean can be found in a rather small chest and sounds like the ocean when you hold it to your ear, leaving me wondering if Blizzard actually know what a tridant is. Either way, you’re after the third and final relic now: a storm crown known as The Tempest Caller. A crab named Toatana has it (and yes, that is a reference to Tamatoa from Moana and yes, it is because the crown is shiny) but you’re going to get it back.
On your way, Xal’atath tells you a bit how you were meant for each other just in case you aren’t personally madly in love yet (which is ridiculous because of course you are.)
Toatana, a giant crab with actual piles of gold coins on his back, cannot be tamed, (apparently Blizzard has a special prejudice against hunters this expansion) but he can be killed. You get the crown, Xal’atath flirts a bit more, and now there’s just one more step. The Naga had planned to perform their ritual at the Precipice of Oblivion, so that’s where you’re headed.
I mean, you wanted to know what artifacts the Naga were after, and Xal’atath told you, and even told you why, and you got the artifacts which means the Naga didn’t, so you should be done, right? But instead you’re following Knaifu around, taking orders from her, letting her hold all the artifacts and everything. But anyway.
Xal’atath meets you outside the Crucible of Storms, which is shaped like a giant, multi-tentacled monstrosity, and tells you not to be afraid, this was always meant to be, and then asks you to followe her inside, and I’m sure it’s fine. You can follow her in. It’s fine. I’m sure it’s fine. It’s fine.
You place the stone as Xal’atath says “A stone to call the darkness”, the trident as she says “A weapon forged in the depths”, and the crown as she says “a crown for the ruler of all worlds” and then, after this bit that really does feel a hell of a lot like a ritual, you know, like the ritual the Naga wanted to perform, you get a cutscene.
A giant eye opens. It’s N’Zoth, and Xal’atath says she’s brought him “The Opener, the Bringer of Truths,” and “The Torch that Lights the Way”. (Which could mean the artifacts, but really she means you.) This seems to be part of a bargain – she’s held up her end, now he’s gotta let her go free. N’Zoth agrees but says she has to leave the blade. Xal’atath says she’s cool with that and leaves through a Void Portal.
N’Zoth gets very excited about you, even giving you a whole gift, after speaking a bit about your destiny and how the hour is close and all that is sunken shall rise and all that is sleeping shall awake and, you know, that sort of thing. His gift is a living eyeball on your head.
But I’m sure it’s fine. It’s all fine. It’s actually really fine. It’s fine. I’m sure it’s fine. It’s fine.
You report back to someone, Brother Pike if you’re Alliance, Talanji if you’re Horde. Both are pretty troubled by the whole Old God thing, and they gently point out that, not to put too fine a point on it, but you were supposed to just stop Naga from getting their hands on some artifacts and instead you were pretty much tricked by Xal’atath into handing those powerful artifacts over to, well, Old Gods.
They’re both really nice about it though. They just want you to go into the Crucible of Storms and kill Uu’nat. (Since this is a raid quest, I’ll have to write more about it once I’ve actually done the raid.) And, you know, don’t do any more favours for shadow weapons.
Talanji and Brother Pike will also both suggest you get yourself cleansed of N’Zoth‘s gift, on account of it being from an Old God and therefore dangerous and mind control-ey and very likely to make you go insane. You have a choice here – if you like you can keep the gift. You’ll have a permanent eye crown that only other players who have the same gift can see, and you’ll be able to see it on them.
Naturally, I kept the gift on my Void Elf, but not on my Zandalari, partly because it’s a gift from the freaking Old Gods so of course I’m not going to trust it are you kidding me? But mostly because it makes me look ridiculous.
And that’s the end of the Xal’atath storyline… for now. As I said, I will update it once I’ve done the Crucible of Storms quest.
Lok’tar ogar, and Zandalar Forever x
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